Prime 10 issues to see and do in Zagreb, Croatia

Browse any tourism brochure for Croatia and you’ll be forgiven for considering that Dubrovnik, with its UNESCO Previous Metropolis, Recreation of Thrones places, and large numbers of cruise passengers is the nation’s capital.

However in actual fact, Croatia’s capital and largest metropolis, Zagreb, lies 400 km away within the northwest of the nation. Its wealthy historical past, spectacular structure, a number of cultural areas, and wonderful connectivity means it deserves to be one among Europe’s favorite locations for an ideal worth metropolis break.

Listed here are my high 10 must-see strategies:

Dolac Market 

Dolac Market, umbrellas shield the produce c Zagreb / J Duval

Dolac has been Zagreb’s largest farmers’ marketplace for one of the best a part of 100 years. It’s on the sting of Ban Jelačić Sq. within the Old Metropolis and is in-built two layers: there’s a lined market under and an open-air market above. Upstairs, distributors shield themselves and their produce from the solar with vibrant purple umbrellas.

Lots of the girls who promote fruit and greens in Dolac – the kumica – come from close by villages.  Look out for the recent mandarins and lemons, purchase your self handfuls of cherries and olives, and if you’re planning to have a picnic in Zagreb, come right here to purchase freshly baked cornbread and a pot of Zagorje cottage cheese. 

Don’t depart with out making an attempt Gingerbread Hearts

The licitarsko srce – a gingerbread coronary heart embellished with purple and white icing – is Zagreb’s greatest recognized memento, a candy deal with with a protracted historical past. Historically these biscuits had been baked as tokens of affection and friendship.

They’re comprised of honey dough and had been bought at gala’s at competition instances. Now you should buy them in Zagreb year-round, although the most important portions are made and bought round Valentine’s Day. These gingerbread hearts are thought-about to be such an essential side of Croatia’s tradition that UNESCO has given them Intangible Cultural Heritage standing.

Grounded Photo voltaic System

Prizemljeno Sunce/Grounded Solar c Zagreb / Boška i Krešo

In 1994, Croatian sculptor Ivan Kostaric put in a large golden orb within the centre of Zagreb. He known as it the Grounded Solar as a result of it seems to be as if our personal solar has fallen to Earth. Fellow artist Davor Preis then developed the artwork set up additional, making and putting 9 planets across the metropolis, all with the identical dimensions and distances as these inside our photo voltaic system. It took artwork and astronomy followers two years to find all of them!

Medvednica Nature Park

Medvedgrad is Zagreb’s historic fortress and the centrepiece of the Medvednica Nature Park, an oasis of inexperienced on the sting of the town. The park covers an enormous space with thick forest, caves, waterfalls, and websites of cultural curiosity, which could be explored on greater than 70 mountaineering trails. Purpose to spend a full day at Medvenica, beginning on the Medvegrad Customer Centre which is inside the fort itself. On weekends you possibly can take a guided tour of the 15th to 16th-century gold and silver mines; Sopot Waterfall is the proper picnic spot in a picturesque glade of bushes; and from numerous factors alongside the Horvat’s 500 Stairs you get fabulous views. 

Nikola Tesla Technical Museum

Today the title “Tesla” usually makes individuals consider electrical automobiles, however their namesake, the Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla, was born in Smiljan in what’s now Croatia. Zagreb celebrates his life and work on the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, which was based within the metropolis in 1954. There are greater than three,000 objects on show, together with Tesla’s just lately renovated demonstration cupboard.

St. Mark’s Sq.

St Mark’s Church with its distinctive purple, white, and blue roof, embellished with coats of arms, is an instantly recognisable image of Zagreb.

Courting from the 13th century, it is among the metropolis’s oldest surviving buildings and has a superb inside with sculptures by Ivan Mestrovic and work by Jozo Kljakovic. Along with the church, you’ll discover loads of different essential buildings round St. Mark’s Sq., together with the Croatian Parliament and the Previous Metropolis Corridor. The sq. and facades had been all renovated in 2006, and it’s a very photogenic spot.

Avenue Artwork

Zagreb is a large out of doors canvas for Croatian and worldwide artists. Town’s road artwork scene has grow to be more and more vibrant lately, and graffiti artist Kresimir Golubic (AKA Leon GSK) leads road artwork excursions for Zagreb Vacationer Board. He has additionally written road artwork guides.

The coed centre on Savska Avenue and the ACC Medika constructing on Pierotti Avenue are famed for his or her murals, and there’s new paintings at Artwork Park yearly. A venture known as “Pimp my pump” encourages artists to color water pumps throughout Zagreb, so hold your eyes open for these artworks, too.

Strossmayer Promenade

Strossmayer Promenade (or Zagreb Stross) runs alongside the highest of what’s left of Zagreb’s mediaeval metropolis partitions.

Lotrščak Tower c Zagreb, S Carek

Begin your stroll beneath the Lotrščak Tower, which was constructed within the 13th century to protect Zagreb’s southern gate from a Turkish invasion. Following the promenade offers you nice views over the town, and an opportunity to absorb a number of the ambiance of the town. In the summertime it’s the situation of Summer season on Stross, with stay music, road performers, artists, and road meals stalls, and within the run-up to Christmas, it’s a significant venue for Zagreb Creation, Zagreb’s multi-site Christmas market and competition.

Zagreb Wine Tour

Wine tasting

Wine tasting c ToursByLocals

Zagreb native Stanka has labored in tourism since 2003 and leads ToursByLocal’s Gems of Zagreb Tour. In three hours you possibly can uncover the highlights of Zagreb on foot, however – and right here’s the essential bit – stopping alongside the way in which to style a few of Croatia’s best wines. Jastrebarsko, a brief drive exterior Zagreb, is named “Croatia’s Champagne” and the street is lined with vineyards. Stanka will introduce you to wines from completely different areas, accompanied by native snacks, and clarify about Croatia’s lengthy winemaking traditions.

Zinfandel’s – Zagreb’s greatest restaurant

No doubt, Zinfandel’s is Zagreb’s greatest restaurant. It’s positioned inside the extraordinary Esplanade Zagreb Lodge, which was in-built 1925 to accommodate passengers travelling on the Orient Specific.

Immediately, Government Chef Ana Grgic – who has cooked for everybody from Prince Charles to Hilary Clinton – leads the kitchen, creating imaginative menus which showcase the easiest Croatian substances.

Within the summertime, it’s attainable to sit down out on the elegant Oleander Terrace, however regardless of the time of 12 months you possibly can anticipate an unforgettable meal and repair match for a queen.

Reality File

FLY: RyanAir flies direct from London Stansted to Zagreb from £30 return.

STAY:  Esplanade Lodge, the luxurious dwelling to Zinfandel restaurant

TOUR: Group strolling tour of Zagreb : 2 hours and 30 minutes from £17 per particular person.

For official vacationer data see Go to Zagreb.

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